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Study Abroad Student Resources

There are many aspects of education abroad programs which require students to plan well in advance and to make a dedicated, timely commitment toward their personal preparation prior to departing the United States for their educational journey abroad.


Please visit the Study Abroad Office in Bonaventure Hall 1070 to learn more or email the Study Abroad Office


Please visit the Study Abroad Office in Bonaventure Hall 1070 to learn more or email the Study Abroad Office

study abroad student

Application process

Students must apply for and be accepted to all education abroad programs through the Stritch International Education office.

Students should consult with their one-stop counselor and major/minor advisors before submitting their education abroad application packets. It is important to determine well in advance which semester or summer program fits best with each student's academic path.

Applicants applying for a semester abroad program should submit their application by March 1st for the Fall semester, and by October 1st for the Spring semester.

Download Application
passport and suitcase

Pre-departure checklist

Get your passport​

  • If you don't have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible
  • ​If you do have a passport, verify that it is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your program.
  • ​If it is not valid for at least 6 months after the end of your program, you will need to renew your passport.
  • For U.S. Citizens, please visit to renew or apply for a new passport.

Book your travel arrangements: flights, trains, etc.

Passports and visas

Proper documentation is required for entry into foreign countries. 

Each country has its own special requirements for entry based on your citenship, purpose of visit and length of stay.

Obtaining documents from embassies or consulates can take months. 


  • A passport is a document from your home country that confirms your citizenship
  • It is the only form of identification recognized everywhere that verifies your citizenship
  • You need a current passport that is valid beyond the time your program ends


  • A visa is a document provided by the country where you will be traveling
  • It gives permission for you to enter the country
  • Visa requirements vary from country to country
  • You must have a passport before you can apply for a visa
  • The country issuing a visa typically attaches various conditions of stay, such as the territory covered by the visa, dates of validity, period of stay, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit, etc. In some instances, you may need to apply for a visa in person at a consulate.

About Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) is the leading provider of study abroad and international student insurance coverage. Since 1992, we have insured over 1 million international students and cultural exchange participants worldwide. Our relationships with financially stable insurance carriers, all A rated or better by A.M. Best, enable us to provide the wide-ranging coverage travelers depend upon at affordable prices they appreciate.
Our participants travel to more than 200 countries annually. Destinations include Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil, Egypt, China, the United States and more. Our international and sister offices give CISI direct connections in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa and Australia.

CISI has a solution to fit your traveling needs and budget.

  • If you are a study abroad student traveling outside of the United States or an international scholar coming to the United States to study, select from individual insurance plan options for reliable coverage and peace of mind for your travels.
  • If you are looking for a group insurance plan for your cultural exchange participants, CISI will work with you to find the coverage you require.
Everywhere you want to study, travel, visit and tour, CISI has you covered.

Managing money abroad

Handling your finances abroad has become much less complicated for students than it was even a decade ago. Globalization has made credit and debit card use commonplace and ubiquitous. There are, however, some important matters to consider when planning access to funds while you are abroad.

Contact Your Bank

Let your bank know that you will be out of the country. Share with them the duration of your travel and the details of where you will be and on what dates. Having your card shut off to protect you from fraud is a great service that many banks provide and also can be a hugely frustrating experience for students abroad if they have not let their banks know about their travel plans.

International Transaction Fees

These fees and surcharges may apply abroad depending on your particular bank. If your bank charges you a flat rate fee, it may be smarter to take out larger sums of money less frequently in order to avoid multiple fees. If you are not comfortable carrying around large sums of money, consider finding a bank that charges a lower rate. Look into credit unions as they may have lower fees. Do some research to see if your bank has partner institutions or reciprocity agreements with banks in your host country. In some cases, this will eliminate transaction fees entirely.

Consider opening a bank account abroad

For students on programs shorter than a semester this option may not be the most cost effective. If you are, however, abroad for longer periods, you may find having an account in-country provides convenience and savings.

Know the exchange rate

Check every few weeks to make sure that the exchange rate has not fluctuated dramatically. Rates can change hourly, so check an online currency converter to make sure that you are using the correct ratio.

Assign a PIN to your card(s)

Some countries require you to have a PIN attached to your credit card. Give yourself some time to do this before you depart.

Make a copy of your debit/credit card

Make a copy of your debit and/or credit card (front and back). Give a copy to someone you trust back home. You can also scan and email the card, though this could represent a security risk. If you lose your card or it gets stolen, it will be helpful to have access to these copies. Also, make sure that you email the international phone number for your debit or credit card to yourself as well, so that you can call your bank in case of emergencies.

Make sure there are ATMs available

ATMs exist just about everywhere in the world, but there are some remote places where they are nowhere to be found. If you think you might be going to one of those places, it is a good idea to research availability.

Set up for Direct Deposit

If you are receiving financial aid or some other income, be sure to set up Direct Deposit. Picking up a check in Milwaukee won’t be convenient for you if you are abroad!

Health and safety

Stay informed

Take the time to research the political landscape and customs of your host country before you depart. Stay informed about current events and developing situations while you are away. In many cases, your program director or host university will share details if there is a safety or security concern. However, you should also take steps to stay informed through local and independent media, press reports, blogs, and other sources.

For current news, safety bulletins and analysis view:

Stay active

Maintaining your regular diet and exercise regimen abroad can be a challenge. Foods readily available in the U.S. may not be available or easy to find in your host country and you may be surprised by locals’ reactions when you go for a run in the streets. In some locations, additional precautions may be necessary to avoid food poisoning, contaminated water, or exposure to insect-borne diseases.

For travelers’ health tips view:

Road safety

Road accidents are the number one cause of death and serious injury abroad for people between the ages of 15 and 29. The majority of international road accidents involve cars, but nearly half of all road related deaths involve “vulnerable road users” including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycles. Regardless of where you study in the world, it will be important to recognize that vehicle and pedestrian responsibilities are different than in the U.S. Take time to observe and understand the driving and pedestrian culture of your host country; do not make assumptions and use extreme caution if you choose to drive a motor vehicle while abroad.

For international road safety information and reports view:

Crime and safety

Crime can occur anywhere, but as a visitor in a foreign country you may be particularly vulnerable. You may stand out as different and be unfamiliar with your new environment. This, combined with the fact that you may not be be able to interpret the verbal and non-verbal potentially dangerous cues in your environment, can place you at a disadvantage and make you a target for crime. Nevertheless, there are simple steps you can take to significantly reduce the chance of being the victim of crime:
  • Situational awareness - be aware of what is happening around tyou at all times. 
  • Trust your instincts - take immediate action to remove yourself from situations that feel unsafe or uncomfortable. 
  • Avoid behaviors and situations that put you at risk - if you consume alcohol and drugs, dont walk alone, and never leave a club or get into a car with someone you dont know. 

U.S. Department of State - Your Safety is Our Priority

U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information - Country Specific Information

Local law

When you travel to a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and penalties. In most cases, the laws are common sense but, in other instances, they may be much more obscure (e.g. taking pictures of government buildings, purchasing antiquities, or collecting biological samples without permits). If you violate a law, the consequences may be more severe than for a comparable offense in the U.S. Lack of familiarity with local laws is not considered an excuse and will not absolve you from prosecution or sentencing. If you are arrested overseas, the U.S. Department of State can provide limited assistance and support.

For more information view:

Sexual assault and harrassment

Sexual assault and harassment are sadly common on both U.S. college campuses and in study abroad. As is true in the U.S., most victims of sexual assault and harassment abroad are women, but men can also be victims and should take the same personal safety precautions. Taking common sense precautions can reduce your risk.

Sexual assault and harassment prevention links:

Cost and scholarships

Align cost with your study abroad goals 

Compare programs based on your needs and goals. Factors to consider: 
  • Number of credits
  • Courses avalible
  • Local cost of living
  • What the program fee includes 

Financial Aid

Exchange programs

  • All Stritch aid, federal, state, and outside aid will be applied towards your program.
All other programs
  • Federal, state, and outside aid will be applied towards your program. 

Scholarship Information

SOL Education Abroad Scholarships

Communicating with your friends and family while abroad

In order to reduce the anxiety level of your friends and family back home and to keep yourself from getting homesick, it’s important to stay in touch. Be sure to take an address list containing your friends’ and family’s phone numbers and email addresses. If you possible, give your contact information to as many people as you can before you leave. Make sure that your family knows how often you plan to contact them. If they know that it is difficult for you to phone or email, or that you will be traveling on certain days, then they will be less likely to panic when they have not heard from you in a while.

Phone calls

Phone calls can be VERY expensive, so make sure you research your options BEFORE you leave the U.S. Ask your Program Director what past participants have found to be the most convenient way to phone form the country where you are going. Exchange students can ask the coordinator at their host institution, or ask CSU students who have already participated in your program. Some countries might have cheap pre-paid phone cards; others may rent cell phones once you are there, etc.

Don’t forget to consider the time difference when calling the U.S., and tell the people calling you to remember too.

Contact options

Calling cards

  • Special access codes in each country connect you directly to the AT&T, MCI, or Sprint network for potentially lower rates than going through the local telephone company.


  • Downloadable on your computer or smart phone
  • Can also be used to make calls to landline telephones and cell phones at VERY discounted rates.


  • Downloadable on your computer or smart phone
  • Text and calling features over wifi

International cell phone plans

  • Planet Fone offers rental cell phones at
  • Cell Hire is a new company that has similar rental services.
  • Check with your program director to see if a cell phone rental is included in your pricing, or if you can rent a cell phone through them.


  • You should continue to check your Wolfmail account while you are abroad. You will receive relevant information from me as well as other staff and faculty on campus. Be sure to change your password while abroad so that you are not locked out of your Wolfmail account.

Emergency contacts